No book in modern times has matched the uproar sparked by Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses", which earned its author a death sentence.
Furor aside, it is a marvelously erudite study of good and evil, a feast of language served up by a writer at the height of his powers, and a rollicking comic fable.
The book begins with two Indians, Gibreel Farishta ("for fifteen years the biggest star in the history of the Indian movies") and Saladin Chamcha, a Bombay expatriate returning from his first visit to his homeland in 15 years, plummeting from the sky after the explosion of their jetliner, and proceeds through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations.
Rushdie's powers of invention are astonishing in this Whitbread Prize winner.
W 1988 Whitbread Book of the Year Award Novel Category
W 1988 Whitbread Prize (Novel)